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Rabies risk increasing in Saginaw County

The Saginaw County Health Department is warning residents of an increased risk of rabies exposure. (MGN)

SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. --The Saginaw County Health Department is warning residents of an increased risk of rabies exposure.

This comes as bats are beginning to become more active in the area.

Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system in humans and other mammals.

A person may contract rabies through a bite, scratch, or saliva from an infected animal.

A bat bite or scratch may not be seen or even felt by the injured person due to the small size of its teeth and claws.

A potential rabies exposure should never be taken lightly. If untreated, rabies is fatal.

The health department also has these tips to prevent rabies:

  • If a bat is in your home, do not release the bat outdoors until after speaking with SCDPH. It may be possible to test the bat and avoid the need to receive rabies treatment.
  • If you wake to a bat in the room, you may need to be treated if the bat cannot be tested.
  • Keep vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats, ferrets, and other animals you own.
  • Seek immediate veterinary assistance for your pet if it is bitten by a wild animal or exposed to a bat.
  • Call Saginaw County Animal Control about removing stray animals in your neighborhood.
  • Never adopt wild animals, bring them into your home, or try to nurse sick, wild animals to health.
  • Do not touch, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Maintain homes and other buildings so bats cannot get inside.

For more information about rabies, click here. https://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/0,4579,7-186-76711_78041---,00.html.

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